Sautéed Chickpea and Vegetable Couscous
Well, hello there! Let me introduce you to my friend Couscous.
No doubt you have possibly made its acquaintance before, but let me assure you that you have never seen couscous in this way, in this style. Because couscous sometimes comes across as boring, plain, and simple. But now, with a little help from the recipe I am providing you with, you're going to see couscous in a whole new light. Now, couscous has become colorful, fun, vibrant, and delicious with just a few key additions that work to enhance it in a most significant way.
Let me make myself more clear: couscous eaten alone, while still a satisfying dish, can appear to the palette as bland and tasteless. I happen to appreciate this humble dish, but I know many find it rather savorless. However, couscous eaten with some sort of accompaniment, some sort of supplementary flavor or ingredient, instantly turns into a flavorful, delectable meal. That is, as long as that accompaniment is flavorful and delectable.
Well, this sautéed chickpea and vegetable couscous is most certainly flavorful and delectable. With a base of fluffy couscous and a mouth-watering mixture of sautéed vegetables and chickpeas served on top of it, every mouthful is an absolute delight.
And now I'm done with the fancy talk.
This sautéed chickpea and vegetable couscous is simple enough, but the flavors most certainly aren't. The topping is made up of vegetables such as peppers, zucchini, and cabbage. But if you have a favorite vegetable that isn't mentioned in the ingredient list, or a vegetable that is mentioned but you happen to not enjoy it, that's okay. That's more than okay. Customize the vegetable list any which way your heart desires.
Aside from the vegetables in this dish, there's that other thing mentioned in the title of this recipe - chickpeas. Nom Nom. Ooh, and then some olive oil, fresh garlic, and a few more spices to bring it all together. And that's it. That's your topping. Your flavorful and delectable supplement. Done and done.
As for the couscous, it's made the classic way by boiling some water, removing the water from the flame, and then adding the couscous in and letting it sit in the water to absorb all the liquid. And then it becomes fluffy and soft and amazing. Oh, and there's some olive oil added to the water while it's boiling to give the couscous some extra flavor bonus points. Hmm - maybe that's why I find myself enjoying bowlfuls of plain couscous. Because it's actually not plain. Cuz my couscous always has olive oil added to it. And olive oil is life. And delicious.
This couscous dish really makes the perfect lunch or dinner. It's quick, it's easy, it's wholesome, and it tastes magnificent.
The couscous only takes 10 minutes to cook, and the sautéed chickpeas and vegetables are done in 15 minutes. If you're like really so truly very good at math, you'll be able to work out that that's a total of 25 minutes. For a dish that could definitely make up your entire meal. Because this couscous has so many components - carbs, veggies, protein (from the chickpeas), and an overwhelming hint of awesomeness.
This vegetable couscous looks pretty too. And it's colorful. Especially when you use colorful vegetables. That's why I like to use two different colored peppers. And two different colored zucchinis. And paprika.
Do yourself a favor and make this sautéed chickpea and vegetable couscous your next meal. Your next best meal.
SAUTÉED CHICKPEA AND VEGETABLE COUSCOUS
Yield: 6 servings
11/2 cups couscous
11/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 colored peppers (red, yellow, and/or orange), diced
2 zuchinnis (green and/or yellow), diced
2 stalks scallions, diced
Large handful shredded green cabbage
Optional: one diced tomato, onion, and/or carrot
1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin, optional
Couscous: In a medium sized pot, pour in the water, salt, and olive oil and bring to a boil. Once boiled, add in the couscous and stir one or two times. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let couscous stand 10 minutes to absorb all the water before fluffing it with a fork.
Sautéed chickpeas and vegetables: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add in the mined garlic (and onion, if using) and sauté till garlic is golden and onion is softened. Add in the diced peppers, zucchini, cabbage, scallions, and optional additional vegetables.
Stir occasionally over a low to medium flame until the vegetables are softened. Once vegetables are softened, add in the chickpeas. Sauté until the chickpeas are slightly softened.
Season the sautéed vegetables with the spices and then assemble over the chickpeas. Serve warm/hot.
On a completely unrelated note, LOL: